Microsoft announced today that it has cut a deal with independent educational game studio TeacherGaming to acquire MinecraftEdu as it moves to develop a new version, Minecraft: Education Edition, in collaboration with educators.
This is chiefly notable for developers and educators who use MinecraftEdu as a teaching tool, since they will be entitled to a free one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition -- billed as an "expanded version of Minecraft for the classroom" -- following its scheduled launch this summer.
It's well in line with Microsoft's move last summer to launch a hub for educational use of Minecraft, which will now serve as the place for educators to discuss classroom uses of (and suggest improvements to) the inbound Education Edition.
If you were considering buying a license for MinecraftEdu, now is the time to do so, as the folks at TeacherGaming intend to stop selling licenses for the teaching tool after Education Edition debuts. However, they plan to keep supporting MinecraftEdu normally and will continue to offer server hosting services to customeres who require them.
Since it launched in 2011 MinecraftEdu has been used in schools around the world as a teaching tool for everything from physics to history to computer programming.